HEALTHY COMMUNITY AWARD: Port Augusta Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle (OPAL) has had a significant impact in the Port Augusta community during their five years of operation, contributing to the Port Augusta City Council awarded winner of the Councils with populations of 15,000 or less category in the 2014 Heart Foundation Healthy Community Awards. Pictured where OPAL installed fitness equipment for the public along the eastside foreshore were (from left) OPAL project support officer Tenille French, Port Augusta City Council mayor Sam Johnson and OPAL coordinator Carmel Daw.Port Augusta City Council has been awarded the South Australian winner in the 2014 Heart Foundation Healthy Community Awards, councils with populations of 15,000 or less category.
The council was recognised for its contribution to tackling heart disease and as SA’s winner is eligible to be selected as a national winner.
Heart Foundation SA chief executive officer Doctor Amanda Rischbeth said Port Augusta City Council’s supportive policies, comprehensive planning practices and cultural consultations demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing the specific health needs of their community.
“The Heart Foundation congratulates all those involved,” Dr Rischbeth said.
Highlighted in the nomination were the Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle (OPAL) Coastal Path project, the Central Oval redevelopment and encouraging healthy catering in the community.
Port Augusta City Council mayor Sam Johnson said these are only part of council’s involvement in the community.
“Port Augusta City Council has a long term commitment to create a healthy community by supporting a large number of initiatives including OPAL,” Mr Johnson said.
“These not only focus on healthy eating, but encourage emotional wellbeing and physical activity.”
Port Augusta City Council operates many facilities supporting an active lifestyle including the Ryan Mitchell Swim Centre, Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Wadlata Outback Centre and the Be Active Community Centre.
A significant factor in winning the award was the achievements of OPAL and the number of initiatives introduced in their five years of operation.
Since OPAL began they have introduced the Coastal Path, healthy catering options for sporting clubs, community groups, pubs and cafes, healthy breakfast campaign, active travel and active play promotions, edible gardening projects, nutrition and home meal education programs for disadvantaged groups, fitness equipment stations installed for the public, water refill stations throughout Port Augusta and the Carlton School Tuckshop project plus much more.
Port Augusta OPAL coordinator Carmel Daw said it is wonderful for council to be recognised for its commitment to improving the lifestyle of its residents.
“We have seen the direct benefits and improvements to people’s lifestyle since OPAL began with the initiatives having long lasting results,” Mrs Daw said.
“The OPAL program appreciated the support of council in the work that we do and we are impressed by just how much council involved itself in the health and wellbeing of its community.”
The national winner will be announced later in 2014.
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